Re: The Geejay

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Thu Jan 03 2008 - 11:03:14 CST

  • Next message: Peter Constable: "RE: The Geejay"

    On 1/3/2008 6:43 AM, Michael Everson wrote:
    > At 06:25 -0800 2008-01-03, John Hudson wrote:
    >>> On foot of the shape of the letter I would consider encoding it as
    >>> the capital form of U+0261, as LATIN CAPITAL LETTER SCRIPT G.
    >> Surely not considering the presence of the dot.
    This is total an utter nonsense. What one encodes is always the
    *identity* of the character. In this case, the character was used for a
    sound that can and is spelled with either G or J in French (and, more
    importantly for the purpose) in French loanwords used commonly in
    German, and therefore familiar to the reader.

    The phonetic notation that this artificial letter is a part of, is an
    example of a common device used for such purposes, i.e. a system that
    uses, as much as possible, notations that are close to what the lay
    reader is familiar with, adding a few signs and diacritics to mark
    sounds not found in the readers native language.

    Note that the 'sh' sound for the name of the letter 'H' is spelled out
    with the German 'sch', to see what I mean.

    The example for /juge/ makes clear that the Gj is used "as a /unicase/
    or caseless letter" as Andreas writes. He continues "It is questionable
    wether to speak of it as a ligature" and I would agree. The intent here
    is not to combine the sounds of a g and a j but to denote a sound that
    ordinarily is written with either a 'g' or 'j'. The choice of uppercase
    G for deriving the glyph seems designed to let this letter stand out and
    make both of the constituent sources of its glyph apparent to the lay

    Thus, the concept of case does not apply, and, as the character has not
    found its way into any existing "orthography", there's little pressure
    to innovate in that direction. Whether IPA or any other phonetic
    notations use glyphs based on some decoration of the letter 'g' or 'G'
    for the same sound is irrelevant - unless one can show a relation by
    derivation. For obvious reasons G just happens to be a natural choice to
    represent such sounds.

    If it's deemed important to encode the character to be able to encode
    such dictionaries as originally published, then go ahead and encode
    *that* identity. Don't invent something new.


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